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Breaking New Ground

Intrapreneurs in Swedish Cultural Institutions

Staffan Albinsson received his PhD in Economic History from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, May 2013, after having spent the previous three decades working in music management. In the late 1970s, he started the Norrland Opera Symphony Orchestra. He served for many years as County Music Director and Production Manager with the Musik i Väst (Music in Western Sweden Foundation). Before returning to academia, he served as the Planning Director at the newly established Vara Concert Hall. His research is directed towards various aspects of cultural economics. Affiliation: School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Department of Economy and Society

In this study, ten intrapreneurs from Swedish Cultural Institutions have been interviewed. They are cultural entrepreneurs, rather than “civil servants” or “officials”, in heart, spirit and action. Who are they? Why did they succeed? Their individual success stories are presented. Some have created new activities while maintaining their organisations reformed, but intact. One reshaped her institution to a fundamentally new position where what was produced was far from what had been the case when she was first employed. The respondents’ assessments regarding the accuracy of ten statements regarding the cultural entrepreneur’s mind-set are discussed. The “quadruple-bottom-line of cultural entrepreneurship” is used as an analysis method, including: (1) economic prosperity, (2) artistic innovation, (3) social change, and (4) institutional development. Furthermore, how the ten intrapreneurs have influenced Swedish Cultural Policy Acts is also discussed.

Keywords: Cultural entrepreneurship, artistic innovation, intrapreneurship, entrepreneurial orientation


Innovation is an essential element for the growth, adaptation, and impact of all cultural institutions. Most of us who work or have worked in public non-profit Swedish cultural institutions based on tax funding (national, regional or municipal) find ourselves somewhere along a low-high innovativeness continuum (see Fig. 1); most likely in a cautious small-step-by-small-step developer position. Thoughtful and methodical innovation can be a successful strategy. This paper deals with those rare souls who have accomplished more radical change. For some, this has been accomplished by the sum of many bold incremental innovations, while a few have explored new territories for their organisations more radically. This dichotomy of incremental vs. radical innovation has been described since at least the 1980s (e.g. Ettlie et al. 1984; Dewar & Duttan 1986; Garvin & Levesque 2006).

Kangas and Vestheim (2010) describe criticism, which appeared in the 1980s, against cultural institutions for “being conservative ‘iron cage’ bureaucracies, self-protecting and non-creative and immune against radical new ideas in artistic and cultural content as well as management and organisation. Artists employed in these institutions are accused of being ‘civil servants’ more than creative artists.” Management, too, may be included in the derogatory “civil servant” concept. Many in the 1980s were seen as conservative public officials rather than artistic and institutional developers. In Fig. 1 this innovation-free mindset is added.

Figure 1

The administrator – innovator continuum of cultural managers

Arjo Klamer (2011) found that members of his Eastern European audience in his 2010 lectures had been brought up to work in a culture in which they operated in response to state directives. As, by this time, their governments were withdrawing, they seemed to have been left without such guidance. Klamer identifies a need for a more entrepreneurial mindset, namely that “of the person who has the courage to face the odds”. Some, Klamer claims, “may use entrepreneurial in a pejorative sense by suggesting that entrepreneurs are suspicious characters, prone to greed and narcissism”. Others find that “being without initiative is bad … while risk taking is good. So is dreaming about the impossible, being adventurous, risking failure, being alert, and being creative.” Klamer adds a moral attribute to those whom he accepts as cultural entrepreneurs. They “are cultural because they are about the cultural. Being focused on the (cultural) content, being about the art itself and the creative process is a moral attribute of the cultural entrepreneur”. Moreover, Klamer strongly emphasises that cultural entrepreneurship is about value creation, in which money is a means and not the end goal.

Stories of ten highly innovative cultural entrepreneurs in tax-funded Swedish public cultural organisations will be given here. Who are they? Why did they succeed? Some have created new activities while maintaining their organisations reformed, but intact. One reshaped her institution to a fundamentally new position where what was produced was far from what had been the case when she was first employed. One of the respondents has been almost a traditional entrepreneur in that he, from nothing, created what is now a major cultural institution, albeit he did it as a permanent staff member at a regional council (until the enterprise was transformed to a limited company). Some of the presented entrepreneurs are internationally well-known, while others may be less known, even in domestic Swedish cultural life, outside their own artform and arena. They ranged in age from 45 to 80 at the time of the interviews (Spring 2018). Hence, some are still very much active as employees while a few have retired with a varying degree of maintained involvement with cultural institutions.

None of the interviewees have taken entrepreneurship courses. Nevertheless, they have worked in accordance with what is described in entrepreneurship textbooks as the entrepreneurial process. Their professional success stories are based on an entrepreneurial flow chart typically, I suggest, consisting of: opportunity identification forging of value proposition(s) – organisational design – resource acquisition – implementation – harvesting. However, this, for the respondents, seems to be the result of informal knowledge, intuitive or acquired, rather than formal. Hence, this study is focused on the entrepreneurship mindset of the respondents and the entrepreneurial professional “orientation” that has guided their endeavours.

The presentations of respondents’ careers will include information on a basic understanding of how intrapreneurs enter their organisations: 1. unfolded entrepreneurial capacity after being recruited [α]; 2. strategic choice of employer for the implementation of an idea/opportunity [ς]; or 3. recruited with proven skills as entrepreneurs [ρ]. Furthermore, the interviews/interviewees will be analysed according to the four perspectives of cultural entrepreneurship suggested and presented by the author in a previous papers (Albinsson 2017). Finally, the influence that the respondents may have had on cultural policy making will be discussed.

Cultural entrepreneurship and the Swedish entrepreneurship paradox

A literary review reveals a plethora of cultural entrepreneurship definitions and indicates that consensus is yet to be reached. Johan Kolsteeg (2013) provides a thorough reading of the “unequivocal definition of central terms and the situatedness of discourses and practices”. Anne Heinze (2018) provides long lists of references. She seems to prefer to use the label primarily for successful for-profit entrepreneurs. Her stance relates to a definition found in Anheier and Isar (2008): “Cultural Entrepreneurs are cultural change agents and resourceful visionaries who organize cultural, financial, social and human capital, to generate revenue from a cultural activity. Their innovative solutions result in economically sustainable cultural enterprises that enhance livelihoods and create cultural value and wealth for both creative producers and consumers of cultural services and products.” Arjo Klamer (2011) demands that cultural entrepreneurs maintain “a moral attitude”.

Kolsteeg (2013), furthermore, finds that “cultural entrepreneurs by definition work in a social, political, economic and artistic discourse”. Dacin et al. (2010, table 2) define the cultural entrepreneur in a similar way: “An individual who identifies an opportunity and acts upon it in order to create social, cultural, or economic value.” In an earlier article (Albinsson 2017), based on an analogous idea, I suggest that cultural entrepreneurship should be analysed from four perspectives: 1) economic prosperity, 2) artistic innovation, 3) social change, and 4) institutional development. This method has been applied by myself (Albinsson 2018a and 2018b). Meghan Peterson (2018) has developed it substantially in her recent doctoral thesis.

Lumpkin and Dess (1996) discuss “entrepreneurship orientation” as a “propensity to act autonomously, a willingness to innovate and take risks, and a tendency to be aggressive toward competitors and proactive relative to marketplace opportunities.”

Intrapreneurship is the term given an individual who works with an entrepreneurial orientation from within the organisation (Pinchot 1984). Stam and Stenkula (2017) claim that

Entrepreneurship is not a firm or occupational but a behavioural notion. If so, where and in what form an individual exploits an entrepreneurial opportunity or idea is an empirical question, not necessary for the delineation of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a function and not a specific organisational form (small firms, family firms, owner-managed firms, closely held firms or new firms) or an occupational choice (self-employed, business owner).

This might be a rather surprising stance for someone who is used to the traditional view of entrepreneurship as the formation of new for-profit ventures. However, the authors are Swedish, and they try to explain the “Swedish entrepreneurship paradox” in which a low entrepreneurship rate is combined with a high prosperity ranking. They claim that intrapreneurship scores should also be included in global entrepreneurship measurements to accommodate the Swedish paradox. Their calculations show that the Nordic countries have the highest intrapreneurship scores (Stam & Stenkula 2017, table 2).

The Nordic countries are comparatively sparsely populated. Thus, it is difficult for most cultural enterprises to cover their costs from customer revenues only. A comparatively high GDP combined with a comparatively high level of taxation have provided public funding for a vast supply of cultural institutions and activities. It is only natural in such a societal context that cultural entrepreneurs find outlets for their ambitions as employees in such institutions.

Cultural policy and intrapreneurship

The same year that ABBA won their landslide Eurovision Song Contest victory the Swedish Riksdag passed the first national Cultural Policy Act (henceforth CPA). It was highly influenced by a general culture industry critique. One of its much-discussed objectives was: “Cultural policy shall counteract the negative effects of commercialism in the cultural sector” (Proposition 1974:28).

The CPA of 1974 was slightly revised in 1996. Sweden had already become a multi-cultural society so a new objective targeting that issue was a must. In the 1996 CPA a new objective, which combined these and two previous issues, was introduced: “to promote cultural diversity, artistic innovation and quality and, thereby, counteract the negative effects of commercialisation in the cultural domain” (SOU 1995:94).

After the 2006 general election, the Social Democratic government was substituted by a liberal-conservative “Alliance” government. In 2009, a bill (Governmental Proposition 2009/10:3; 28) was passed by the Riksdag concerning a new CPA. The bill was based on a government investigation established in 2007 that presented its report in January 2009. Gone is the idea of “negative effects of commercialisation in the cultural domain.” In the Cultural Policy bill it was instead made clear that “there is no given contrast between commercial viability and artistic quality and freedom”. Although this may have been an ideologically biased claim from the new government, it nevertheless mirrored the zeitgeist also regarding innovation and, especially, entrepreneurship in culture. The double negation in “counteract negative effects” is now transformed to what can be described as “make use of lessons from the for-profit market”. The older interviewees in this study have now allowed me to label them entrepreneurs “of sorts” – cultural intrapreneurs – while a few decades ago they would have shunned the use of that description. A musician in an earlier study claimed that in the 1970s he would have felt offended as the word “entrepreneur” was used as an insult (Albinsson 2018a). However, some tokens of dismay still linger. Olof Hedling (2013), for instance, finds it appropriate to define the film industry as a “business” (using quotation marks).

The 2009 version of the CPA includes, for the first time, a word with an obvious connection to entrepreneurship. “Creativity” will now “characterise the development of society”.


The study is exclusively qualitative. It is based on interviews with a typical duration of two hours with a tendency for a correlation between length of career, i.e. age, and duration of interview. A semi-structured questionnaire was prepared prior to the interviews. However, it turned out that all respondents were more than happy to describe their entrepreneurial experiences without much imposed conversational structure. Nevertheless, the interviews were ended with structured questions directly related to the chosen analysis methods. Not surprisingly the respondents were extremely well-formulated and very interesting conversation partners. Such eloquence can, of course, be expected from this category of successful professionals.

Interviews were conducted with respondents representing a variety of artforms or cultural services (see Table 2). They were chosen from the author’s personal knowledge of successful managers in the performing arts and through recommendations from professionals in museums and libraries. Notes were taken during the interviews. The individual presentations below have been accepted by the respondents.

The interviewees

Bearing on Joseph Schumpeter, who finds similarities between the artist and the entrepreneur (Swedberg 2006), Kenneth Lipartito (1998) claims that

… occasionally entrepreneurs really open up supposedly settled matters, calling into question interpretations that define products or technologies, and reconfiguring the symbols on which organizations rest. They are thus closer to artists than to supercomputers. Their goal is to cause us – us being the consumers of the firm's products or its employees – to see reality in a new, unexpected way. Those who achieve such breakthroughs are able to capitalize on their vision by offering for sale products and services that match it.

It was this kind of individuals that were sought for this study.

The performing arts are “intensive”. What is produced is normally well prepared through planning and rehearsals, but in the actual performance the production and the consumption take place simultaneously. According to the common definitions of public and private goods (based on Samuelson 1954), the performing arts are private goods. They are both rivalrous and excludable. When you have bought a ticket, no one else can occupy your seat. Tickets are sold with a market-based logic. The same applies to films in cinemas.

Museums and libraries are much more “extensive”. What is consumed in them has been produced in advance and is available for visitors when the doors open. Museums are close to actual public goods, as they are both non-rivalrous and non-excludable in most cases – definitely so in the Swedish “national” museums run by the state for which the current government has proclaimed a free entrance policy. A library is more or less a type of public good in itself, but the service that it provides is the lending of private goods: books. These goods may be publicly owned. Yet, books bear all the characteristics of private goods. Nevertheless, they are offered according to a free lending system based on law.

Apart from the general idea of recruiting respondents from a broad variety of cultural services, the intention was, furthermore, to determine whether there was a noticeable influence from the private vs. public good characteristics on the potential for entrepreneurship and on its outcome. Hence, respondents were sought from all four art forms.

One recruited interviewee has worked with the extension of artists’ labour markets. This service does not belong to any specific art form. The respondent was recruited based on her reputation as, exactly, a cultural intrapreneur.

Some respondents were chosen based on their domestic, and in some cases international, reputation as innovative intrapreneurs, while others were recommended by people working in their respective cultural fields.

Characteristics of the cultural entrepreneur

To check whether the chosen interviewees identify themselves as entrepreneurial and thus fit well into the desired target group, a set of statements regarding the characteristics of a cultural entrepreneur was prepared. These statements were based on Arjo Klamer’s (2011) characteristics of the cultural entrepreneur and Maureen McKelvey and Astrid Heidemann Lassen’s (2013) characteristics of the entrepreneurial individual. The respondents were asked to assess whether they identify with each statement on a 0–5 scale. In addition, they all provided interesting comments, some of which are cited below.


  1. You are alert to and creative regarding the artistic content, but also of the way in organising the conversation and arranging the finances.

  2. You have a great need for autonomy, to work independently and you are striving for personal development

  3. The artistic content is your passion and commitment; everything else, including the economics, is subsidiary

  4. People you work with or simply meet experience that you have charisma

  5. You have a strong need to be seen and appreciated

  6. You follow role models

  7. You are persuasive in the sense that you are able to convince good artists to work with you, bring about interest in the art, get people involved (e.g. volunteers), and you are able to generate the necessary funds, including donations and the like

  8. You look imaginatively on the outside world and you find opportunities easily

  9. You wish to develop the welfare and the feeling of solidarity in society

  10. You are prudent and exhibit courage, hope, and faith in your actions

The self-assessments of the proposed respondents showed sufficient coherence with this set of “characteristics”; see table 1. However, statement 5 – “you have a strong need to be seen and appreciated” – was met with deliberation. Most respondents claimed only a “normal” need. In one way, this could, perhaps, be interpreted as disdain for this kind of reward. One respondent explained that “I do things for their own sake”. Another stated that, “in contrast to my early career now a positive gut feeling can compensate for lack of appreciation”. This seemingly lesser relevance of statement 5 can also, possibly, be explained by the respondents’ Scandinavian upbringing, in which a cautious attitude towards the promotion of oneself is applauded. 1 Moreover, this basic test showed that almost no-one could identify the role models that statement 6 prescribes. However, there is a fair amount of logic in this, as they have spearheaded change and dared to explore unknown turf.

Table 1

Scores for cultural entrepreneur characteristics

Table 2

The respondents

Areblad, Pia[‘a:ræ,bla:d, ‘pi:a]arts labour market innovator
Eskilsson, Thomas[‘æskilson, ‘tumas]film commission director
Frände, Carolina[‘frændæ, karu’li:na]theatre for children and youth director and manager
Hansson, Johanna[‘ha:nson, ju:’hana]library manager
Nittve, Lars[‘nit,ve, la:rs]art museum curator and manager
Oskarson, Peter[‘ɔskarson, ‘pe:ter]theatre manager and stage director
Persson, Christina[‘pæ:rson, kris’ti:na]library manager
Rentzhog, Sten[‘rentshɔg, ste:n]cultural history museum curator and manager
Simensen, Bjørn[‘si:mensen, bjœ̞ːrn]symphony orchestra and opera manager
Åhlvik, Clara[‘o:l,vi:k, ‘kla:ra]museum curator

The respondents have agreed to be identified by their names in the recordings from the interviews below. The citations are direct quotes from the interviews.

The respondents and their influence on cultural policy making


Johanna Hansson

In the early 1990s, after a BA in literature, visual art and intellectual history and a stint at the Poppius journalism school, Johanna Hansson (b. 1968) decided to educate herself at Bibliotekshögskolan (The Swedish School of Library and Information Science) in Borås. Her first ambition was to have a “free” exploratory professional life without long-term employment contracts. However, she soon found herself in a “proper” job position in a Stockholm university library. To her great surprise, she found that it was fun and rewarding. In hindsight, Johanna sees that her capacity for entrepreneurship unfolded there and then [α]. She recalls that there were lots of irritating phenomena. Primarily, it was the inherent inertia of old-school library traditions that Johanna objected to. After a maternity leave, Johanna was asked by the City of Stockholm to investigate why there was so little cooperation between libraries and the cultural establishment on all levels. Finding that it had to do with attitudes, she took on a position as children’s librarian at a central library to change such attitudes from within. A workplace reorganisation provided decisive opportunities to change “the miserable, introvert work-place with behind-the-scene staff.” Johanna’s maxim was to abandon the collection perspective for a new user focus. Every staff member had to do something essentially new. The response was varied: “highly stimulating”, “fun”, “strenuous” and “boring”.

Johanna took on the position of head librarian at the City of Uppsala in 2014 and dismantled what she labels “the clutter control”. From 2017, she was the head of the only library in Sweden with two owners, two funders, two boards and two separate missions: the Almedal library in Visby. It is run by both Uppsala University, which has a satellite campus in Visby, and the Gotland Region. She had until the beginning of 2019 to suggest and implement organisational changes and new activities for the so far failing dual-focus library. Johanna’s assignment was a recruited intrapreneurship position [ρ]. She was appointed chairperson of the Swedish Library Association in May 2018. Since April 2019 Johanna is assistant head-librarian at Uppsala University.

In the interview Johanna regarded statements 2 and 9 in table 1. as most relevant for the characterisation of her as a cultural intrapreneur.

Christina Persson

Christina Persson (b. 1951) studied visual art history, administration, literature and political science before taking her exam at Bibliotekshögskolan. She started her professional career as a children’s librarian in a suburban library in the Gothenburg region. Even then she had noticed that she had a disposition for development work [α]. Soon after, she strategically [ς] chose a position in a district library in Gothenburg in order to do the same kind of development work there. Due to her entrepreneurial capacity, she was later recruited [ρ] to a more central library. The Swedish Arts Council funded a joint project targeting “the building up of an untraditional library.” Together with two other libraries in other parts of the country, Christina started on a journey finding proper answers to questions such as “how to increase user participation in book procurement?”, “what is folkbildning 2 today?” and “how can we become relevant and important today? … We went from a collection perspective to a user perspective!… We not only said user perspective as lip service – we actually did it!… actually users were not interested in taking on librarian responsibilities but they were eager to give us their suggestions.”

In 2003, Christina was recruited [ρ] by Bibliotekshögskolan to a position as its Head of Department. Later, she returned to Gothenburg as Head of the City of Gothenburg libraries. She retired in 2017, but was immediately asked by Kungliga Biblioteket (the Royal Library of Sweden) to be part of a troika assigned to produce a “national library strategy” [ρ]. The final report was published in February 2019 (Fichtelius et al 2019).

In the interview Christina regarded statement 8 in table 1. as the most relevant for the characterisation of her as a cultural intrapreneur.

Possible effect on cultural policy

Kann-Christensen and Balling (2011) studied recent trends in Danish libraries and found that they are influenced by three Ps: Policy, Profession and [New] Public Management (NPM). The library is part of Policy as “a central player in the development of the society at large, both as a provider of information but also as an institution where information is organized according to quality, diversity and actuality.” The librarian logic, Profession, “regards user contact and promotion of information and culture as crucial issues.” Regarding Public Management, Kann-Christensen and Balling identify that “when lending rates, number of visitors, number of home page clicks become performance indicators libraries act accordingly, and try to increase these numbers by satisfying the customers’ wishes.” The citizen, user, tax payer, consumer, or whatever we wish to call the targeted individual, is placed in the nexus of all three logics.

The new digital library has facilitated a focus on the lender, which has always been an explicit goal. Johanna Hansson and Christina Persson have identified the new possibilities and demands. They have put themselves in the forefront of this transition from bookshelf surveillance to the customer front desk.

What Christina discussed regarding “user participation in book procurement” leans toward the new dogmas of “participatory culture” (Jenkins 2006, 2012; Sacco, 2011; Brandrup Kortbek et al. 2016). However, the participation was not directed toward literature production, but merely toward the creation of lenders’ preference lists. Nevertheless, Christina was the first to apply this measure according to the new participation policy goal.

When the interview with Christina was conducted, she was member of a troika that presented its suggestion for a national library strategy a year later (Fichtelius et al. 2019). It reflects the ideas that have inspired Christina and Johanna in their successful intrapreneurial endeavours.


Lars Nittve

Lars Nittve (b. 1953) got bored as a Stockholm Business School student after only one year. Instead, he turned to psychology and sociology and managed to not only receive an MA, but also came close to presenting his doctorate thesis in visual arts history. He also pursued postgraduate studies at New York University. In 2009 Lars, finally, was granted an honoris causa doctorate from Umeå University.

While teaching undergraduate art history from 1978 – 1984, Lars published art reviews for Svenska Dagbladet. He also contributed regularly to the international journal Artforum. In January of 1985, Lars was appointed chief curator (or “first custodian”) of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. In 1990, Lars took on to establish Rooseum – the former centre for contemporary art in Malmö that, in 2009, was re-opened as the Malmö subsidiary of Moderna Museet. In 1995, he became the first general director of Louisiana, the arts centre north of Copenhagen, after its founder, Knud W. Jensen. Lars was recruited [ρ] as director of Tate Modern in London in August 1998. “It was hugely tempting – the building was under recreation, but the general ideas regarding purpose and content were still vague.” After the successful opening in May 2000, Lars felt that the Tate Group management interfered unnecessarily and undesirably. When the Swedish government offered him [ρ] the director-general position at Moderna Museet, he accepted. Lars remained at this post until 2010. At that point, he was recruited [ρ] as professor by the Umeå University Faculty of Humanities. However, when, in 2011, a top-ranked Hong Kong official offered him [ρ] the position as inaugural director of the huge M+ museum of visual culture planned to open in 2015, he could not refuse. “I like being destabilized – it creates a feeling of freedom … money was abundant ... M+ promised to be the most exciting arts museum in the world.” Lars’s contract expired after five years and he decided on a new life as freelance senior consultant based in his mountain house in Northern Sweden.

In the interview Lars regarded statements 1, 8 and 9 in table 1. as the most relevant for the characterisation of him as a cultural intrapreneur.

Sten Rentzhog

As with several other respondents, Sten Rentzhog (b. 1937) has a dual education. He received a BA in Economics from the University of Oregon. He had been annoyed at the pace at which Swedish towns were being demolished. There were plenty of examples where a striving for modernisation had had the same devastating effect as the Second World War, in which Sweden did not participate, had on many European mainland towns. Inspired by a similar example in the US, he started an association to counter the trend. A huge crowd turned up at a debate in Uppsala after Sten published an article in the local newspaper. His professional destiny was changed. He began to study visual art history and, eventually, received a PhD with a dissertation on Swedish wooden towns. The year previously, Sten had started to work for Riksantikvariarieämbetet (Swedish National Heritage Board). He travelled all over the country to produce heritage care plans and became the head of a care plan section funded by The Swedish Public Employment Service. However, he wished for a secure upbringing for his children in a small town and accepted a position as deputy county custodian of heritage in Vänersborg. One of the more important efforts was the creation of veritable children’s activities – not just the prior children’s story readings aloud. Another was the pioneering inventory of notable buildings in the county. After three years, Sten gave in when the county museum board in his native province, Jämtland, asked him to take on the responsibility as head of their organisation [ρ]. He started on a massive, broadly scoped entrepreneurial development which included spatial planning, tourism, collection of historic and contemporary photos, renovation of churches, travelling exhibitions and activities for children. Eventually, Sten came to head the national county museum cooperative board, which gave him “an incredible network and first-hand information before everyone else.”

Sten’s main contribution in Jämtland has been the restoration and enlargement of the outdoor museum, Jamtli, attached to and part of the county museum. He wanted to give life to the more or less empty houses moved to Jamtli from all parts of the province. Former town houses, rural chalets and forestry buildings were filled with lots of artisans and farm hands who, in turn, contributed with a multitude of excellent ideas for further development.

Due to “a profound crisis of which everyone was very much aware”, Sten was recruited [ρ] by Nordiska Museet (The Nordic Museum) in Stockholm in 1988 and remained there for three years as its head curator, during which time he managed to contribute to a renewal of the activities. Sten took on project management for a new, huge project, Den svenska historien (The Swedish History), in which museums all over the country took part. In 1991, he returned to his former position in Jämtland from which he retired in 2002.

In the interview Sten regarded statements 1–3 and 9–10 in table 1. as the most relevant for the characterisation of him as a cultural intrapreneur.

Clara Åhlvik

After studies in ethnology and a secondary school teacher education in history and social science, Clara Åhlvik (b. 1961) started on a museum curator career. Clara identifies that her intrapreneurship capacity unfolded in the Jönköping County Museum [ς]. There, although she was not the formal supervisor – the organisation was “flat” according to the then preferred standard , she managed to get a small group of colleagues to produce a new, condensed mission statement for “The New Museum”. It was fourfold: 1) inclusion, 2) relevance for the county inhabitants, 3) current topics, and 4) increased visibility. It took some time until the new ideas were implemented. “By then I realised that I can make a difference”, she says. In 2009, she produced a new Jönköping exhibition, Craftwerk 3 2.0, that caught the eye of Svenska Dagbladet, which published a seven-page article. The external funding from the Swedish Arts Council and the Culture for the Future Foundation “gave me the possibility to work on something that I really believed in.”

In 2011, Clara started as consultant at the Röhsska museet – the design museum in Gothenburg. She curated an exhibition, “Evil Design”, based on an internal development project with the general objective to broaden the design concept and involve the staff in discussions regarding possible negative effects of design. Clara is currently employed part time by Tekniska museet (Swedish Museum of Science and Technology) in Stockholm to create a concept for its new exhibition of innovations. She regards this as a recruited intrapreneurship [ρ]. She also takes on freelance assignments.

In the interview Clara regarded statements 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 in table 1. as the most relevant for the characterisation of her as a cultural intrapreneur.

Possible effect on cultural policy

The first CPA of 1974 included an objective directed towards museums and archives: “to ensure that the culture of older times is used and brought to life.” It was revised in 1993 to: “to preserve and make use of the cultural heritage.” The change from “culture of older times” to “cultural heritage” was emphasised as a new and more operative term. The change from “bring to life” to “make use of” was made on similar grounds. The 2009 version of the CPA is even more extrovert, as the new objective formulation is: “to promote a vivid cultural heritage that is used and developed.”

Governmental investigations and reports within the cultural heritage sector have been much more concerned with preservation issues than “bring to life” and “make use of”. This is also the case for the Cultural Heritage Bill of 2016 (Governmental Proposition 2016a; 7) which resulted in the Law for Museums 2017:563, which, however, excludes preservation, per se, from its main purpose paragraph, 4§: “A museum shall … contribute to society and its development by promoting knowledge, cultural experiences and freedom of opinion.” It is stated that “exhibitions and other public activities at a museum shall be knowledge-based, characterized by versatility and openness (5§), be accessible to everyone and adapted to the users’ various prerequisites(6§).” The collections are regarded as tools to achieve the actual objectives. Preservation issues are secondary in the law and hardly mentioned.

It is not obvious how Clara Åhlvik, Sten Rentzhog and Lars Nittve, although successful in their respective pursuits, have influenced policy making. Whereas the new 1-page law is more focused on the users, the 240-page bill is predominantly, in fact almost totally, occupied with preservation and collection issues.

Clara has participated in domestic media debates on museum policies. Sten (2007) has published a book on the management of open-air museums (also available in English). Lars’s focus on artistic innovation has formed the foundation for the success of the enterprises in which he has worked. All three have successfully targeted the general cultural policy objectives of accessibility, social inclusion and participation regarding the museums’ contents, thereby influencing their professions. Parliamentary policy makers have, meanwhile, limited themselves to the question of free admittance.


Thomas Eskilsson

Thomas Eskilsson (b. 1958) studied at the University of Gothenburg with a BA in Social Sciences and Business Administration. After having tried a secondary school teaching position, he applied for a job as County Arts Council secretary in 1988. At this stage, Thomas’s intrapreneurship inclination and skills were unfolded [α]. He found that he liked change and development and to “influence events.” He tried to create a platform for film within the limits of the county arts council position. Thomas worked diligently for the creation of a West Swedish Film Fund. In 1994, a “much too small amount” (4 million SEK, currently approximately €350,000) was provided by the county council. Having a broad international outlook, Thomas noticed that his small outfit in Trollhättan was located in an area included in the ERDF – European Regional Development Fund – system. EU money was granted in 1997. Film i Väst (Film in Western Sweden), which now had been established as the name of the organisation, moved into vast premises in an abandoned industrial area in Trollhättan. Film i Väst was made into a limited company in 1999 owned by the Västra Götaland Region. The annual turnover of Film i Väst has now reached 120 million SEK (€1.050 million), of which the Västra Götaland Region provides 75%. Thomas has stepped down as CEO, but is still involved in the operations as head of strategy.

Film i Väst is now the biggest domestic regional player and one of the largest in the EU. Film i Väst dominates the domestic Swedish film awards and it has a long list of Oscar nominations.

In the interview Thomas regarded statements 2 and 3 in table 1. as most relevant for the characterisation of him as a cultural intrapreneur.

Possible effect on cultural policy

Early film production in Sweden imitated the Hollywood system of vertically integrated oligopolies with control of production, distribution and cinemas. Due to the swift diffusion of TV, introduced as a public service monopoly in 1956, into Swedish homes, the film industry was challenged. The minister responsible for culture from 1957 to 1967, Ragnar Edenman, complained about a threat from commercial forces such as “weekly magazines, kitschy paintings, pop music, films of dubious value, and all kinds of ‘entertainment’ “ (Edenman 1959; 257, my translation). The Film Agreement of 1963 regulated the respective roles of the government, the film producers, the cinema owners and the film distributors’ association. The need to find a new turf for film production was combined in an “aesthetically motivated goal of transforming the national cinema into an increasingly prestigious, consecrated and legitimized medium of high cultural artistic value” (Hedling 2013).

As a consequence of the 1974 CPA, culture in Sweden became highly regionalised, except for film. The Film Agreement did not create a similar development for film production. Thomas Eskilsson spearheaded a new movement of regional film commissions. This is a pan-Nordic development. Ingvild Bjerkeland (2015) has studied how regional film commissions have been established in Norway. It is likely that after the success of such regional enterprises they played a role in the reshaping of The Film Agreement into a new governmental Film Policy (Governmental Proposition 2016b).


Carolina Frände

After her graduation from Dramatiska Institutet, Carolina Frände (b. 1973) spent a couple of years as a freelance stage director in several city theatres. She found that she had a keen interest not only in the artistic production, but also in its organisational prerequisites [α]. In 2002, she was asked to take on responsibility as head of Unga Riks – the children and youth section of Riksteatern (National [touring] Theatre Company). Carolina took on that challenge filled with inspiration and ambitions for the mission to spread good children's and youth theatre across the nation. However, she left after only a year because of policy issues.

In 2005, the Stockholms Stadsteater (City of Stockholm Theatre) had opened a small, satellite venue in the Skärholmen suburb with a focus on theatre for ages 5–19. In October of 2009, Carolina was taken on as its manager [ρ]. The already existing budget included several positions that were filled by new employees. In 2016, Carolina was given the assignment to both investigate and implement a transformation of the theatre venue in Skärholmen to a broader culture house. “We are now in the midst of that change – having now launched a cinema, close cooperation with the many voluntary associations, and a, generally, much improved connection to the local community.”

In the interview Carolina regarded statements 1 and 7-8 in table 1. as most relevant for the characterisation of her as a cultural intrapreneur.

Peter Oskarson

Peter Oskarson (b. 1951) has a degree from the Stockholm University Drama School. During his early professional career in Malmö, he was part of the group that started the Skånska Teatern (Scanian Theatre). Peter was the “informal leader” of the ensemble. At the end of the 1970s, Peter co-authored the so called “Manifesto” for the City of Gothenburg Theatre. It had an immense impact on the domestic cultural debate at the time. In it, the authors wrote that a new “artistic theatre” of great importance in society was needed and it should counteract the commercial passive message of mass culture. “Its task is not to satisfy the audience's demand for entertainment but to evoke interest in the actual “needs”. The “artistic theatre” must keep in touch with contemporary intellectual and scientific discussion on critical cultural issues.” The “Manifesto” was largely deemed as “socialist”. Nevertheless, it has had a lasting effect on domestic theatrical production as it conveyed a lot of ideas common to a pan-European theatre discourse.

Peter was asked [ρ] to take on responsibility for the new Folkteatern Gävleborg (People’s Theatre of the Gävleborg county). For Peter, this became an opportunity for “strategic intrapreneurship” [ς]. For many years, Folkteatern Gävleborg was at the forefront of Swedish drama development based on a “collective form and content research”. However, “it was hard to create drama which was not mainstream”, Peter recalls. One production, Den stora vreden (The Great Wrath), in an abandoned rolling mill, received newspaper headlines stating: “this is how many million kronor it costs to do this idiotic project.” Around 1990, Peter left his post in order to establish a provincial summer venue, Hälsingland Wooden Theatre. Soon after he also took over the contract for the Orion Theatre in Stockholm.

In 1997, he was asked back as general manager of Folkteatern Gävleborg. In around 2002, Peter observed a growing disdain among officials in the county council finance department. “The council should not be involved in producing culture”, was the general response Peter got. The newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, published a series of articles dealing with “suspicious conditions at the Folkteatern Gävleborg.” The criticism was, largely, directed at Peter himself. The fact that he got not only his monthly manager salary, but also a copyright fee to his private firm for his efforts as stage director (an arrangement not uncommon in the theatrical world) was condemned. The Swedish Tax Agency called for a substantial surplus payment. Peter resigned in 2006.

It took until 2009 before Peter was asked by Det Kongelige Teater (The Royal Theatre) in Copenhagen to direct a new, commissioned opera. Peter is currently the artistic director of the Benhusets Alkemiska Teater (The Alchemy Theatre at the Bone House) based in a 1714 building in a central Stockholm cemetery: “A unique venue for theatre, devotion, music, poetry and meditation in the presence of the dead.” This is, however, more or less voluntary work, but it satisfies Peter’s desire for “in-depth research.”

In the interview Peter regarded statements 1, 3, 7 and 10 in table 1. as the most relevant for the characterisation of him as a cultural intrapreneur.

Possible effect on cultural policy

The “Manifesto” for the City of Gothenburg Theatre that Peter Oskarson co-authored in the late 1970s had an immense impact on the domestic cultural debate at the time. It fitted well with the first Swedish CPA – that of 1974. It is, however, questionable whether it has stood the test of time. The “Manifesto” defined a role for theatre in the creation of a more “socially relevant” culture. The impression that it gave to many potential spectators was that it was politically biased and tendentious. Although the same kind of ambitions are still prevalent, “popular culture” (i.e. less problematising and with a box office appeal) content has a much stronger influence. Regardless of whether this is good or bad, it seems to be how theatres currently address issues of accessibility, social inclusion and participation.

Carolina Frände has worked in accordance with the regionalisation ambitions of the 1974 CPA. It has been her task to establish a suburban venue with a broad perspective. Although run by the City of Stockholm Theatre, it is currently evolving into a veritable local “culture house”.


Bjørn Simensen

Bjørn Simensen (b. 1947) is the only one in the sample who has published an autobiography. He used Ottar Julsrud (2018) as his ghostwriter. Bjørn is also the only respondent who lacks higher formal education. He took a two-year course at Skjebergs folkehøgskole (folk high school) with journalism as the main subject. When Bjørn worked as a journalist in Ålesund, he also, at age 22, accepted to act as chairman of the local Konsertforening (Concert Association). After a year of vocal training at the Veitvet School of Music in Oslo, Bjørn applied for the position as secretary of culture and cinema manager at the Sandefjord municipality. His expressed wish was to be able to work with the promotion of the arts in general and with music in particular [ς]. When he came to Sandefjord in 1973, “concerts were presented in the banquet room at the local hotel for an average of 40 paying customers.” Two years later, the new Hjertnes Hall was opened. It accommodated 600 concert subscribers (and 200 on the waiting list).

In 1980, Bjørn applied for the position as concert hall and symphony orchestra director in Gothenburg, Sweden. During his four years at his post, he managed to transform the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (GSO) from a provincial ensemble with low self-esteem and very limited resources to a position as a prominent orchestra with internationally acclaimed records and guest performances. “How I did it? I asked the orchestra: what do you want from me?” The answers were soon crystallised into “leading conductors, a record company-deal and international tours… I demanded that we should start that journey by looking at ourselves … everybody, including me, should ask themselves ‘how can I improve my skills’? I brought in orchestra section coaches from abroad.” Thanks to a new trade union contract initiated by him and the musicians (“which revolutionized the European record industry”) Bjørn was able to sign a deal with the BIS gramophone label. As it happened, the director of Deutsche Grammophon (DG) at this time, Aman Pedersen, was, like Bjørn, Norwegian. This might have facilitated the contract that GSO signed with DG as the first and only Scandinavian orchestra. The tour of the US in the autumn of 1983 was another milestone.

The deal that Bjørn negotiated with Volvo in 1982 for the extension of the orchestra with 20 new musicians was the first such sponsorship contract in Scandinavia. As such, it was highly contested by the media. The Labour Party’s Minister for Culture was annoyed. “Sponsorship” was considered a swearword. But both Bjørn and Volvo promised that “it is not Volvo that wants to extend the orchestra – it is the orchestra that wants to extend the orchestra.” In the 1980s “hardly any sponsorship deal in Europe was discussed without mentioning the Volvo/GSO-deal.” The deal is still valid. It has survived the owner shifts at Volvo (1997 to Ford and 2010 to Geely). The initial storm regarding the Volvo/GSO deal has subsided. In 1997, GSO was pronounced National Orchestra of Sweden by the Swedish parliament (although without additional state funding).

Oslo is not very far from Gothenburg. So, rumour of the GSO success story reached the ears of the omnipresent great music man of Norway, Egil Monn Iversen, who was chairman of Den Norske Opera (The Norwegian Opera) at the time. He asked Bjørn to take on the vacant position as its general manager [ρ]. When Bjørn’s contract expired, he gladly accepted an offer to be editor in chief for Dagbladet – a major Oslo newspaper. In 1995, Bjørn was called back as general manager of Den Norske Opera [ρ]. Before he retired, in 2009, Bjørn crowned his career as cultural intrapreneur when he gave the inaugural speech at the opening of the new landmark opera house on 12 April, 2008.

In the interview Bjørn identified all statements in table 1. as relevant for the characterisation of him as a cultural intrapreneur.

Possible effect on cultural policy

Although cultural sponsorship had occurred in Sweden a few years earlier, before the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra’s agreement with Volvo in 1982, it was nevertheless the latter that was the most controversial and hotly debated. It was large scale, and the beneficiary was an enterprise that was regarded as a CPA player. The professional influence was huge. Other orchestras tried to copy it. In 1986 the mineral water company Ramlösa, for instance, sponsored a piano concert for the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Now most operas, orchestras and festivals have partnership programmes. The Swedish Chamber Orchestra, for instance, currently has ten partners, including the local first-division soccer team.

The 1974 CPA objective “Cultural policy shall counteract the negative effects of commercialism in the cultural sector”, which was cited when Bjørn was criticised, does not appear in the 2009 CPA. Now private company collaborations are included in the various ways in which cultural enterprises work with their societal outreach.

Labour market for artists

Pia Areblad

When Pia Areblad (b. 1966) taught dance on various levels in Stockholm from 1990–1997, she “saw all talented but unemployed dancers who, despite the fact that they worked with entrepreneurial processes, had difficulty in providing financial support for themselves.” She formulated her threefold cultural mission for: 1. an enhanced role for culture in society (her cultural policy goal); 2. a widening of the role of art: working with businesses for a strengthening of their competitiveness through creative collaborations with artists (her art policy goal); and 3. creation of new job opportunities for artists (her labour market goal). She was very much inspired by study visits during 1999–2000 to art and business organisations in New York City and Flanders.

Pia applied for and got the position as general manager at the Skådebanan Väst (an association based on a mission to create interest in culture among trade union members in Western Sweden) [ς]. During her 2001–2014 stint, she reformed Skådebanan Väst from a rather recumbent small outfit for the distribution of discounted group tickets into a major European player in the development of methods for the promotion of various kinds of artists as co-workers in non-cultural firms and organisations for improved creativity among their employees. These activities were later placed in a non-profit subsidiary, TILLT, owned by Skådebanan Väst. After 2010, Pia worked exclusively with the promotion of the TILLT concept in the global arena. The TILLT handbook has by now been translated into 22 languages. In March 2018, a governmental investigation (SOU 2018:23: 384) suggested that TILLT should be provided 5 million SEK (approximately €500,000) for artist-in-residence work in national authorities and agencies.

In the interview Pia regarded statements 7–9 in table 1. as most relevant for the characterisation of her as a cultural intrapreneur.

Possible effect on cultural policy

Although one objective was to broaden the labour market for artists, specifically, TILLT’s activities were hardly based in the contemporary CPA when Pia created the enterprise. Rather, the focus on private firms and, later, public organisations indicates that TILLT was fundamentally part of the business development policies. Indeed, it was probably the successful results, according to Gothenburg Business School reports, that appealed to the Business Region Göteborg in 2017 when they recruited Pia to create a business development plan for the city [ρ]. Pia is now involved in the implementation of that plan.

As Pia was in continuous contact with ministerial officials, it is likely that the success of TILLT influenced the Swedish liberal-conservative government to suggest a new general goal for the new 2009 CPA, which included the word “creativity” that would “characterise the development of society” going forward. Shortly thereafter, the government started a three-year artistic entrepreneurship program totalling 73 million SEK (approximately €7.5 million). It was presented jointly by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Enterprise, Maud Olofsson, and the Minister for Culture, Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth. In the press information (Press information 2009) Olofsson said that

Culture, artistic creativity and design are important tools for the enhancement of the country's growth and competitiveness. We wish for a greater number of actors to be able to support themselves from their creative work. This investment will contribute to more meeting points for culture and enterprises where they can enrich each others.

Olofsson was supported by Adelsohn Liljeroth who claimed that “… it is necessary that we develop skills and the knowledge about – and for – the cultural and creative industries. This gives cultural creators and artists more opportunities to develop their business ideas and to widen their labour markets.” A council for the cultural and creative industries was set up. Incubator programmes were started.

Four perspectives of cultural entrepreneurship

Cultural entrepreneurship is analysed here from four perspectives – 1) economic prosperity, 2) artistic innovation, 3) social change and 4) institutional development – as suggested in an earlier article (Albinsson 2017) and inspired by, for instance, Klamer (2011) and Kolsteeg (2013). The cultural entrepreneur, then, is someone who is attentive to financial and institutional issues in the creation of artistic/cultural goods or services for the good of society. This definition includes profit seekers, who produce goods or services for which there is a market demand, as well as non-profit idealists, who use financial resources to produce goods and services for which there is no established market but which attract public funding due to their positive non-pecuniary values for society. Cultural entrepreneurs have the economic perspective in common with traditional business entrepreneurs. The social change perspective also has a bearing on social entrepreneurs’ motivation. The distinctive perspective for cultural entrepreneurs is, obviously, the artistic/cultural ingredient of the good or service provided.

Here the personal, as presented by the respondents in the interviews, rather than the institutional ambitions and results are discussed, although they are often interconnected.

Economic prosperity

Carolina claims to have had no or very little interest in financial matters. “More money does not necessarily create better theatre.” However, “it has meant a lot for me to be able to work funded by tax money … it has been my active choice to pragmatically administer that kind of common resources for the greater good of society.”

All other respondents claim an interest in financial matters for one reason only: monetary resources can facilitate change. Money as a tool. For Bjørn, financial issues must be secondary – “they must never be the driving force.” Lars, who spent one year as a business school student, recognises monetary resources as enabling prerequisites, but with no intrinsic value whatsoever. Peter had learned the importance of monetary resources the hard way through his leading position in a freelance ensemble prior to his first employment as head of a regional theatre.

Thomas sees a great value in the economic prosperity of his film commissioning organisation as a way to pay back to society what they were once offered as start-up capital. Film i Väst is still highly subsidised by the regional public owner, but what is produced returns tax revenues from labour and cinemas. Pia managed to raise her turnover twelve-fold in her ten years with Skådebanan Väst/TILLT – 60% of which were revenues from services sold to (mostly) private companies.

Christina now finds that she has a very tight-fisted grip on the budgets she has been given. She has gradually learned ways to make use of very limited financial resources. Sten now, much more than when he was a rookie, has a clear understanding of what can be accomplished through improved budgetary conditions.

Artistic innovation

Lars’s success has been totally dependent on the artistic innovation that his art museums have accomplished. Peter, too, claims that he has been very much focused on artistic innovation and that his achievement in this area has had a huge impact on other domestic theatres. Thomas, likewise, recognises the artistic success of Film i Väst’s output as fundamental for the very existence and growth of the company.

Bjørn, when working with GSO, obviously focused on raising its artistic standard. For Pia, the artistic innovation was not a focused issue when she started to explore her opportunity as director of Skådebanan Väst. However, in hindsight, she realises that much of what the artists produced as members of staff in their assigned companies and institutions was indeed artistically innovative.

In the interviews with Clara and Sten, “artistic” innovation was not initially regarded as applicable as they work with “culture” within the museum sector. However, both gradually realised, during the interviews, that what they had accomplished was, in many ways, both artistic and innovative.

Social change

Thomas does not regard social change as a major focus for Film i Väst. However, in one aspect, the success of the company has meant a huge difference, namely in the regional labour market for all kinds of personnel necessary for film production.

Lars regards himself primarily as a “missionary” for visual art. Hence, social change is on par with artistic innovation for him. The two are interdependent. Artistic innovation without recognition from a wide and, hopefully new, audience is not, actually, successful, Lars maintains.

Pia’s initial objective included social change of two kinds: firstly, job opportunities for artists and, secondly, making the clients’ personnel more creative for both their own and the companies’ benefit. She now finds that much of those two objectives were met.

It seems that Carolina has involved herself more and more in a broader perspective on the societal benefits of culture. During the last few years, she has worked on the transition of her Skärholmen theatre venue to a “culture house” with a much more mixed content.

Sten has always maintained that the prime goal for museums is social change in the form of knowledge creation and transmission to the general public. The two librarian interviewees, Christina and Johanna, have a similar view on social change. Clara, contrarily, finds that the instrumental social change objective in public cultural policy documents is elusive and, merely, “politically correct” and that what is produced, even by her, “does not change the world.”

Institutional development

All respondents regard institutional development, like economic growth, as necessary tools for success in the artistic innovation and social change variables. Many respondents have put a lot of effort into changing internal attitudes and the world-view of their organisations. Pia claims that she has worked hard with the grinding and sharpening of the organisational performance. For Thomas, the issue in focus was to start a film commissioning body. When that was accomplished, the institution was developed into the main international actor it is today.


The comparatively high Swedish GDP combined with a comparatively high level of taxation have provided public funding for a vast supply of cultural institutions and activities. In such a societal context cultural entrepreneurs find an outlet for their ambitions as employees of such institutions. Therefore, they are cultural intrapreneurs.

Economic prosperity is of huge importance for the interviewees. However, as public servants, they have little possibility to gain personally. They claim an interest in financial matters for one reason only: monetary resources can facilitate change. Money as a tool. All the respondents regard institutional development, like economic growth, as a necessary vehicle for success in the artistic innovation and social change variables. Not surprisingly, the respondents consider artistic/cultural matters as being vital to their success. Scandinavian cultural policies are heavily targeted to increasing the importance of culture in society. Hence, all the respondents focus on at least some aspects of social change.

“You are alert to and creative regarding the artistic content, but also regarding the way of organising the conversation and arranging the finances” and “you look imaginatively at the outside world and you find opportunities easily” were the statements that the respondents feel to be most appropriate for their entrepreneurship orientation. However, the statement “you have a strong need to be seen and appreciated” is found not to be so relevant by the interviewees. None could identify a strong influence from a professional role model. The respondents have spearheaded evolution in their respective areas and may, in turn, be identified as role models for future generations of intrapreneurs.

For a cultural intrapreneur, the entrepreneurial reward could be a promotion or a change of employer to obtain a raise in salary. Such a raise is likely when the intrapreneur is hand-picked by a new employer. This has been the case for most respondents. Further compensation could be general recognition in society at large or in the cultural sector of the endeavours and the actual achievements.

As mentioned above, one intention for this study was to determine whether there is a noticeable influence from private vs. public good characteristics on the potential for entrepreneurship and on entrepreneurial outcomes. It seems that the market logic of film, theatre and music gives greater opportunities for manifest and visible entrepreneurial results. Library and museum respondents have managed to create seemingly more limited change. However, the “seemingly” aspect is important. Their efforts have targeted organisational cultures that have lasted for generations of professionals. Changing an established professional culture is difficult, time-consuming and demands energy and will power. This phenomenon relates to the anthropological type of cultural entrepreneurship described in a previous article (Albinsson 2017) based on the work of Joel Mokyr (2013): “for a small number of individuals, the beliefs of others are not given but can be changed. I shall refer to those people as cultural entrepreneurs”.

Cultural services belong to the “Creative and Cultural Industries.” Hardly any successful cultural enterprises have had budgets that could allow the achievement of all their ambitions. Financial scarcity is everyday food. Cultural entrepreneurs have existed since long before we started to identify them as such. Cultural entrepreneurs, or intrapreneurs in this case, will exist in the future as well. However, formal training will most likely raise everybody’s proficiency. A cautious incremental innovator, see figure 1, may then dare to undertake more radical endeavours. A conservative official will be contested by the mere occurrence of a skilled developer’s success in the context of the “quadruple-bottom-line of cultural entrepreneurship”: economic prosperity, artistic innovation, social change and institutional development.


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1The author Aksel Sandemose (1936) famously describes this in his “Law of Jante.” Its essence is: “You are not to think that you are anyone special or that you are better than us.”
2 Folkbildning has been extremely important in Swedish cultural policy making. It lacks a direct English translation. Bildning does not primarily include “vocational education”. It rather denotes education which is formative and increases the holder’s general proficiency as a social being. Folk identifies a striving for bildning activities available for everyone.
3A wordplay with the Swedish word kraftverk (power house) and the English “craft”.

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